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Justice & Punishment

Racial Inequality Within the American Court System
2 years ago

Racial Inequality Within the American Court System

The case of Duane Edward Buck, convicted in Harris County, Texas for a double murder in 1995, raises questions about the American justice system, defendants’ access to effective defense counsel …
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The Inmate Who Refused to Die
2 years ago

The Inmate Who Refused to Die

It could never be said that the electric chair has had a particularly happy history. From its first use on murderer William Kemmler on August 6, 1890 its history has …
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The Final Days of Virginia Christian
2 years ago

The Final Days of Virginia Christian

The case of Virginia Christian stands out for a number of reasons. She was the only female juvenile executed in the USA during the 20th century. She was mentally-retarded and, …
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New York’s ‘State Electricians’
2 years ago

New York’s ‘State Electricians’

Not so long ago I wrote a piece for Sword and Scale on Gerhard Puff, a member of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list and, in 1954, New York State’s …
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A Genuine Country Outlaw
2 years ago

A Genuine Country Outlaw

Country legend Merle Haggard was both a star and a man with troubled, checkered past. Even before he was beginning to make a name for himself as a musician, later …
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The Milwaukee Thrill Slayer
2 years ago

The Milwaukee Thrill Slayer

As our regular readers know, I do like to bring you crime’s more unusual cases and criminals. Today I shall regale you with the singular story of George Rutherford Harsh, …
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The Travelling Executioner
2 years ago

The Travelling Executioner

Execution has long been part of criminal history. Its more hawkish supporters consider it society’s ultimate sanction for the very worst offenders. Less enthusiastic supporters regard it as a necessary …
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Devil’s Island
2 years ago

Devil’s Island

The year is 1852. In France, Emperor Napoleon III, increasingly worried by rising crime and insufficient colonists to consolidate France’s empire, has a new and dreadful brainwave. Napoleon is uninterested …
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ADX Supermax:  Like A Living Death
2 years ago

ADX Supermax: Like A Living Death

When an inmate arrives at ADX, the United States Penitentiary Administrative-Maximum Facility known as “Supermax”, one thing is instantly obvious. He’s being cut off from the outside world.

“As soon …
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Bad Cop, Good Cop
2 years ago

Bad Cop, Good Cop

Good guys are the worst kind of bad guys. They know how to get away with things. Cops know more about crime than most people– and definitely more than the …
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